Hertford College has voted unanimously to double its charity budget, after its Treasurer called for more money to be allotted to charitable causes.
Hertford JCR Treasurer James Chawner, who proposed the motion, told Cherwell, “When creating Hertford’s 2014 budget, I felt that more of it should go to charity. Hertford is lucky to have many philanthropic JCR members – for example, a naked calendar recently raised £910 – so it makes sense that our JCR expenditure would reflect that”.
The motion, passed in 5th week, will commit £800 to charitable causes from the JCR’s main account, in addition to the £800 allotted from its charities account.
Chawner explained, “Before the motion JCR members payed an optional amount of £2 a term to charity on their battels, generating roughly £800 a term. My motion ‘matches’ that as a contribution from the JCR budget, meaning that the undergraduate body is effectively giving £1600 a term to charities, before initiatives organised by our charity reps and individuals in the JCR are even taken into account. The JCR’s main revenue stream is from college, it’s a small proportion of students tuition fees”.
Chawner continued, “I was thrilled when the motion was passed unanimously. When put in the context of our annual budget expenditure, it’s a very manageable amount, and it’s sustainable. Students certainly won’t be receiving higher battels as a result of this motion, and it won’t have a significant impact on any of the other facilities or services that the JCR provides”.
An amendment to the motion also divided decision making for charitable spending between the 5th and 8th week JCR meetings, meaning all the decisions about charity spending would not be made at one meeting alone.
JCR President Josh Platt told Cherwell, “We were delighted that the JCR agreed to double our charities budget, proving nice and for all that Hertford is a haven of progressive values. This money will do an amazing amount of good in Oxford and around the world, and it’s fantastic that Hertford is now at the forefront of all the charity work which goes on across the university, in colleges and through RAG”.
Chawner said, “JCR members are encouraged to suggest which charities should receive a donation. These range from efficient global organisations, to dynamic local charities that students have active roles in”.
One Hertford geographer said, “I really hope that this goes some way to putting Hertford on the map. It’s nice to know that we are doing some good in the world, and it’s even better that it’s not going on our battels”.